BIO-key launches Africa subsidiary to address growing demand for biometric security

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BIO-key has launched a subsidiary in Africa to pursue the large, high-growth opportunity to provide biometric security products across the continent.

The new BIO-key Africa will be based in Nigeria, and led by veteran software and technology executive Dr. Maduawuchi “Steve” Uwazie, who has been appointed managing director. The subsidiary will manage marketing and sales, government relations, and new product development for the African market, including specifically tailored products, according to the company announcement.

The company notes that The World Bank has recently approved $433 million in funding for Nigeria’s biometric national ID program, and that Africa has a population of 1.2 billion people and a GDP of $3.2 trillion. The African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is the largest free trade area in the world, and is expected by the African Union to boost trading between countries on the continent by up to 60 percent.

“In our view, Africa represents one of the greatest opportunities for biometric security solutions in the world today. Though we have conducted business in Africa for years, BIO-key Africa serves as a local platform for pursuing opportunities across this vast continent,” explains BIO-key CEO Michael DePasquale. “To lead this effort, we are proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Steve Uwazie as Managing Director of BIO-key Africa. Steve brings decades of relevant experience and has already been extremely valuable in building our footprint of relationships and opportunities in Africa, including the signing of Technology Transfer Institute (TTI) of Africa as a Channel Alliance Partner. Steve has also helped to develop a number of other significant opportunities, some of which we hope to have more to say about over the next few months.”

The agreement with the TTI was announced earlier this month.

Dr. Uwazie notes that BIO-key is planning to hire and train local talent to specialize in biometrics.

“Our main goal is to provide new innovative solutions and the latest biometric technology to meet the standards required by government and private corporations alike,” he says. “BIO-key Africa will offer best-in-class after-sales support, as well as application and data management support for customers. With planned investment in a local sales and service organization, as well as our drive to advance biometric solutions, we aspire to be a contributing force to streamlined, efficient and effective public strategies and top-grade corporate security solutions.”

Dr. Uwazie has previously served IBM, including opening a and managing a regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, and managing the launch of an IBM distribution center in Lagos, Nigeria. He also founded Net Solutions Limited in 2001.

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